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San José Mayor Sam Liccardo Proposes New Common-Sense Gun Safety Measures

The Mayor’s proposal would set the tone for other U.S. cities, combat straw purchasing, and prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition from residences.

Post Date:02/19/2019

San Jose, Calif. – Today, Mayor Sam Liccardo released a proposal alongside Vice Mayor Chappie Jones calling for additional common-sense gun safety measures in San José. The Mayor’s proposal would direct City staff to develop a modernized gun safety ordinance that:

  1. Revises firearm vendor requirements to include video and audio recording of transactions, tighter inventory checks, training for gun sales staff, and other measures to combat straw purchases.
  2. Prohibits the sale of any firearms or ammunition within or from a residence in San José.
  3. Requires a license for the sale, transfer, or advertisement of all concealable firearms and ammunition within the City.
  4. Displays information at point of-sale about local gun laws, suicide warning signs, and Santa Clara County-approved resources for suicide prevention and domestic violence.

Should proposed State legislation in this session fail to address the 3D-printed gun loophole, the Mayor also recommends the Council directs the City Attorney to include language that extends City ordinance requirements to anyone who provides or downloads data required for the production of a 3D-printed firearm or its components.

“While our current occupant of the White House tweets about emergency declarations, a real crisis persists in the 39,377 Americans who died from gun violence in 2017. The federal government – cowering in the presence of NRA lobbyists – has abdicated its role to safeguard Americans by implementing reasonable firearm regulations. In the absence of federal leadership, cities and states will continue to step up to do more to keep our residents safe,” said Mayor Liccardo. “By confronting ‘straw purchases’ of guns for felons and other people who should not possess guns, these reforms can prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, and offer a model for other U.S. cities and states to follow.”

The Mayor’s proposal follows both a troubling increase in assaults and robberies with firearms at the local level, and a national 16% per capita increase in gun deaths. The Mayor’s efforts aim to curtail “straw purchasing” – that is, when the actual purchaser of a firearm uses another person to execute the paperwork necessary to purchase a firearm from a dealer. These purchases inject many of these illicit guns into the community, and evidence indicates straw purchasing constitutes a significant source of guns used in crime and youth suicides.

“Proactive enforcement of the gun laws already on the books is yielding results and saving lives. This ordinance will give us another tool to ensure that legally sold firearms are not falling into the hands of those who are prohibited from possessing them,” said San José Police Chief Eddie Garcia

“These are common sense approaches to the carnage of illegal gun violence. No one wants weapons in the hands of criminals,” agreed Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

If approved by the City Council Rules Committee on February 27, the City Council will consider the Mayor’s memorandum as a part of its priority-setting session at the March 3 City Council meeting.

“The impact of gun violence in our communities is a national crisis. These are common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and individuals who would use a gun to harm themselves and others. It is imperative that local government play a role is addressing this national emergency. If the City of San Jose can prevent any gun deaths or injuries by enacting these measures, we will play a part in stemming the tragic consequences of gun violence,” said Vice Mayor Chappie Jones.

You can read the Mayor’s memorandum here – which has gathered broad support from a coalition of national and local community groups:

Ben Nikitin, March for Our Lives (San José):
“March for Our Lives is unequivocally committed to preventing the horrific loss of lives to gun violence. We strongly support the Mayor's initiative to modernize our gun control laws and save lives by directing the City Manager and City Attorney to draft an update to the San José Municipal Code related to firearms.”

Teresa Fiss, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (San José):
“We’re thankful to Mayor Liccardo and his council colleagues for prioritizing gun safety and putting public safety first. These requirements are just common sense and will prevent people trying to skirt the law from getting access to guns.”

Mattie Scott, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (California):
“Until every one of us is safe from gun violence on our streets, none of us are safe. Gun violence is an ever-changing epidemic, as evidenced by new dangers such as 3D-printed firearms, and we must do everything in our power to counter these threats and provide law enforcement with the tools to take action. We applaud and thank Mayor Liccardo for his efforts to further safeguard the people of San José, and we look forward to continuing to work with him moving forward.”

Allison Andermann, Managing Attorney, Giffords Law Center to End Gun Violence:
“Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence commends the City of San José for taking action to comprehensively regulate dealers that operate, or wish to operate, in its community. Federal and state oversight of dealers is inadequate and local efforts to fill the gaps are necessary. We're pleased that San José is joining dozens of other California communities that have taken these important steps to stem the flow of illegal guns and ensure that their residents are as safe as possible from gun violence.”

Nancy Bavor (Director) and Amy DiPlacido (Curator), San José Museum of Quilts & Textiles:
“In 2018 San José Museum of Quilts & Textiles partnered with the Mayor's office as well as local City Council Districts, San José Police Department and the Police Foundation by participating in the Gun Buy-Back program. The museum raised $15,000 for the program and gave out more than one hundred handmade quilts to people who turned in guns at the event. The museum continues to partner with the
Mayor’s office and SJ Police Department in support of the Gun Violence Protection Initiative. We look at this as a means to make our community a safer place for everyone.”

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Media Contact:
Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Liccardo, chloe.meyere@sanjoseca.gov, 408-535-4833

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